Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Harbour Town Golf Links - Par 71 - 7,099 yards
Field - 152 entrants
Purse - $7.1M
A myriad of high-profile figures jumbled atop the leaderboard combined with eventual overtime drama to produce a best-case scenario for the PGA Tour as it returned from a three-month recess at the Charles Schwab Challenge in fanless fashion. Though grandstands were absent from the Colonial grounds, consumers at home enjoyed sufficient TV coverage as betting markets were active and volumes of DFS gamers tested golf for the first time. Finding an edge is especially difficult when so much uncertainty surrounds a long break from tournament action, but at least now we have a few rounds to evaluate from an analytical standpoint heading into the RBC Heritage. Harbour Town is similar to Colonial in its short length, but these bermuda greens on Hilton Head Island are abnormally small as precision on approaches becomes paramount. The opposite of a bomber's paradise as this course can not simply be overpowered, distance will be sacrificed for accuracy off the tee in an effort to select the correct angles into pins.
Key Stats to Victory
SG: Putting (bermuda)
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Justin Thomas - $44
Thomas' seven strokes gained on approach shots last week at Colonial Country Club were good enough for second among the field in SG: APP, though he also finished top-3 in scrambling at a clip of 77.27 percent en route to his T10 result following a three-month hiatus. Recently surpassing Brooks Koepka for the No. 3 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, Thomas gained strokes with the irons in all seven of his measured starts to begin the 2019-20 campaign. He's made just two career appearances at Harbour Town, highlighted by a T11 in 2015, but eight rounds of experience will be plenty if the approach game stays this strong.
Bryson DeChambeau - $40
The PGA Tour's leader in driving distance carrying a nearly 324-yard average off the tee won't have quite as much of an advantage at Harbour Town where the value of power is compressed, but DeChambeau's versatility has already led him to a pair of top-4s at the RBC Heritage in 2016 and 2018. This past week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, DeChambeau finished second to none in a handful of statistical categories including SG: Tee-to-Green and scrambling while tallying just four total bogeys throughout the entire tournament. He's now racked up four consecutive top-5 results from the Genesis Invitational through the CSC and gained at worst 2.3 strokes on approaches during this span, while also gaining strokes with the flat stick in all but one event this season.
Xander Schauffele - $40
A gut-wrenching horseshoe lip-out on the par-4 17th in Fort Worth on Sunday ultimately kept Schauffele just one shot shy of joining Daniel Berger and Collin Morikawa in a playoff at 15-under, but Schauffele has a ton of positives to draw from as he paced the CSC field in GIR percentage and fired an averaged score of 65.67 throughout Rounds 1-3 on the way to a T3. He amassed 20 total birdies to just six bogeys over the course of the tourney, while also finishing top-10 in driving accuracy with 38 of 56 fairways in regulation.
Collin Morikawa - $37
Morikawa missed a birdie putt from inside six feet on the par-4 18th late Sunday at Colonial to allow the possibility of a playoff at 15-under, but it was his lip-out from three feet on the first extra hole against Berger that proved to be even more heartbreaking than Schauffele's aforementioned terrible beat. It might normally be difficult from a mental perspective for a 23-year-old to move on so quickly from such a costly mistake, but in addition to Morikawa's seemingly overall level-headedness, the kid is already so dominant with his irons that it's impossible to pass on the opportunity to consider him again at a venue like Harbour Town. The $37 price tag with 16 brand-name competitors listed higher in salary is a sweet discount for Morikawa, who sits in a tie for the sixth-best betting odds at 25/1 according to GolfOdds.com.
Kevin Kisner - $33
The Aiken, South Carolina native loves him some bermuda greens, so a trip to Harbour Town comes at the perfect time as the 36-year-old is due for a bit of positive regression to the mean after uncharacteristically losing strokes with the putter in four of seven starts to begin the 2020 calendar year. He would've gained strokes across the board in each subcategory last week in Texas if it weren't for a lousy flat-stick performance, which led to just 14 total par-breakers as he ranked 48th in putts per GIR. Nonetheless, Kisner was top-10 in GIR percentage as he hit 75 percent of the greens in regulation at Colonial, and he's now up to 26th in driving accuracy on Tour this season. He lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk at the 2015 RBC Heritage, but has since added a T11 and T7 at this site to further pad his resume on Hilton Head Island.
Daniel Berger - $31
Might as well continue to ride the affordable hot hand, as Berger's win at the Charles Schwab Challenge marked his fourth consecutive top-10 dating to early February's Waste Management Phoenix Open. He's gained an average of 4.8 strokes on approaches per tournament throughout his past three starts, and is comfortable with the bermuda surfaces at Harbour Town having grown up on The Dye Preserve Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida before enjoying similar conditions during his two-year collegiate stint as a FSU Seminole. Berger's back-to-back victories at the 2016 and 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic hosted by TPC Southwind also came on bermuda.
Harold Varner III - $25
Familiarity with conditions in the Carolinas accompanies Varner as well, and the former ECU standout is coming off a brilliant CSC effort in which he entered the weekend with a solo lead at 11-under-par before faltering late. Varner made three straight cuts prior to the three-month layoff and he now owns top-20 finishes in two of his last four starts. He gained an impressive 5.738 strokes on approaches at Colonial, tied Schauffele atop the ranks of GIR percentage and hit the second-most fairways in regulation.
Branden Grace - $24
Although brief, the course history narrative follows Grace to Harbour Town as he went on a T7-Win-T11 run at the RBC Heritage from 2015 to 2017. More recently, the South African gained 2.2 strokes or more in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, SG: Around-the-Green and SG: Putting to ultimately tie for 19th at Colonial despite closing with a three-over 73 on Sunday. Grace will need to be much more accurate off the tee this week in South Carolina, however.
Chesson Hadley - $20
Hadley returned to action at Colonial CC this past week with a T23 performance despite compiling seven total bogeys and a pair of doubles, as he combated the big numbers by hitting 73.21 percent of the fairways in regulation and ranking top-20 in SG: Approach, GIR percentage and putts per GIR. The minimum price isn't too shocking as he still resides outside of the top-200 in the OWGR and has missed the cut in three of five RBC Heritage appearances, though he flashed upside with a T7 here at Harbour Town in 2018.